Thursday, June 14, 2012


It's that time of year!!! We've been blessed by friend's gardens (since we really couldn't plant one this year) and have enjoyed being able to preserve the harvest over the past week. I guess I need to make a slight correction: Sabrina did a mystery scatter garden before we left and we have enjoyed some delicious carrots!!! We've never had success with carrots before, so we decided that the way for us to grow carrots is to throw them out and forget about them. :) This was also the first year that our peaches produced really well and even though they were small they were sweet and juicy!!!

Anyway, below are some picture of our recent canning projects...

That's a lot of beans!!!

It was our first time to use a pressure canner. Since we have always heard all the horror stories and how you have to be SO careful when pressure canning, we were a little nervous the first few batches, but after a few times of no explosions or geysers of steaming hot water, we felt a little better. I think I read the instructions about 12 times and have most of the little booklet that came with our canner committed to memory. :)

We put unpacking on hold to take care of the more pressing issue of preserving the food before we lost the opportunity - besides, it looked too good to let it go to waste !

Good listening material is essential to the success of any project or undertaking. :)

Snapping, snapping and more snapping!!

Way to go guys!!!

Filling our first batch of jars. I was designated the official pressure canner operator.

Sayer and Shen (our little poser - her new favorite thing :) build Legos in the living room.

We had a contest and the person to finish there pile of beans first would win a piece of Belgium chocolate that we brought home with us (can there be a better prize than that?!). Pictured above are first, second and third place winners (left to right). Good job everyone!!

They said this music was instrumental to the task of picking. We got this CD while we were in Scotland and it has become a family favorite!

Lots of beans, lots to snap, lots of hands!!

The first batch comes out (and tensions ease :). We were so excited to have canned our first batch of beans!!!

They sure look good (we've since tasted them and they taste really good too!!!)

Stasia helping with the dishes - and essential part of any kitchen project.

After the beans were under control, Sabrina and Sienna made freezer jam (with our peaches and some friend's plums) and then Sabrina did pickles (also a first!)!!

Note on the peaches: I have some great pictures from our peach trees, but once again they're on my camera that I can't currently download. I'll post some when daddy gets home.

Towards the end of the day you could really see the progress.

Pickle time!!!

They sure look good!!

Look at that counter full of jars - 45 quarts green beans, 22 quarts pickles, 9 pints freezer jam (not pictured) and today I used up some beets we had in the fridge and canned 3 pints of pickled beets (also not pictured :)!!!

I forgot to get any pictures of the jam in the making, or rather had my hands to full of beans to do so, :) but here it is in the freezer!!

We left some out to use right away and it is good!!!

This is what I did this morning!! Beets underway!! I made them with honey and apple cider vinegar instead of sugar and white vinegar - I'm excited to see how they turn out!!

Sabrina tried an experiment - coloring material with beet water (it's not done yet or I'd post a picture :).

There it is in the water though!

Whenever we would go to grandma's house, she would always have some pickled beets for Sabrina and I since she knew we liked them so much. I can't wait to try these!! Good food...special memories...

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